A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

Shoshone Falls, reputably known as the “Niagara of the West”, is located in my hometown of Twin Falls, Idaho. Standing at 212 feet—much higher than Niagara Falls—Shoshone Falls seeps into Snake River located in the Snake River Canyon. 

The river and its nearby area are often visited by kayakers, paddleboarders, fishing enthusiasts, and base jumpers leaping off of the Perrine Bridge. You can actually view people base jumping from the bridge or below while kayaking!

Kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding in the Snake River to the base of Shoshone Falls is a must-do if you’re visiting the area.

At the bottom of the falls, you can feel the spray of water and feel the vibration of the falls. Just be careful not to get too close to the falls as people have been sucked under before. Yikes!

If you’re someone who’d rather not make the trek to the falls on the river, you can also visit Shoshone Falls Park by car to see it from above.

Nonetheless, kayaking to Shoshone Falls is an incredible experience you shouldn’t miss out on if you’re able. So, get your gear and waterproof cameras ready—we’re going on a trip!

While we’re at it, let’s be friends on Instagram and Tiktok!

Psst… Want to try another epic kayaking adventure in Idaho? Try kayaking to Blue Heart Springs!

A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

Directions to Shoshone Falls

How to Get to the Centennial Waterfront Park from the Nearest Airport

  1. Fly into Magic Valley Regional Airport, located in Twin Falls, Idaho.
  2. Head east on the airport loop in the direction of Joslin Way.
  3. The airport loop will become N 2900 E.
  4. Take a right onto E 3400 N.
  5. Take a left onto N 3000 E.
  6. N 3000 E will become Blue Lakes Blvd.
  7. Take a left onto Canyon Springs Rd.
  8. You’ve reached Centennial Waterfront Park!

Note: If you end up reaching the end of Canyon Springs Road, you’ve gone too far.

Directions to Shoshone Falls
How to Get to the Centennial Waterfront Park

Where to Park Your Vehicle

The Centennial Waterfront Park has plenty of parking spots available for visitors. Make sure not to park in the long parking spots designed for vehicles with trailers or you’ll get a $100 ticket as this parking regulation is strictly enforced.

How to Get to the Kayaking Site

Head to AWOL Adventure Sports, located at Centennial Park in Snake River Canyon, for your affordable kayak rental. AWOL not only offers kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, but they also run a zip line in the canyon, a scuba diving shop, and will facilitate boat trips up the Snake River Canyon. 

They offer hourly rentals or half-day and full-day kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals at an affordable price. Check their site for current prices

We rented kayaks for a full day for $30 which gives you enough time to get to Shoshone Falls and back. With how busy Idaho has been these days in the summer, it might be smart to rent kayaks ahead of time if you have a group or want to ensure you get a kayak. 

You’ll dock off at AWOL’s launch site at Centennial Park to begin your kayaking adventure to Shoshone Falls after a debriefing from the experienced team at AWOL!

AWOL Adventure Sports kayak rental
AWOL Adventure Sports kayak rental

Kayaking Directions to Shoshone Falls

The team at AWOL will make sure to provide thorough instructions on how to reach Shoshone Falls, but just in case, here are some step-by-step instructions to reach Shoshone Falls!

Milestone 1: The Perrine Bridge

After launching off the dock and about 30 minutes of pretty easy paddling upstream, you’ll hit your first milestone, the Perrine Bridge! Surprisingly it won’t be too difficult of a paddle because the Snake River flow slows way down in the summer. 

From this point, it’s a one-mile round trip from the launch point. Be sure to watch for BASE jumpers from the bridge while you’re here! If you have a shorter rental, you could paddle to the bridge and back for a quick one-hour rental.

The Perrine Bridge
Kayaking to The Perrine Bridge
Kayaking to The Perrine Bridge
A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
Milestone 2: Pillar Falls

This is the next milestone on the journey to Shoshone Falls. On the way here you’ll pass under the Perrine Bridge and see the gorgeous canyon landscape changing. Look out for waterfalls cascading over the canyon. Pillar Falls is the halfway mark, reaching about a 2.1-mile paddle up the river from the launch point.

While we were here in August, the water levels at Pillar Falls were super low and weren’t flowing. AWOL had warned us we would have to take our kayaks out of the water and hike/portage over the falls to put our kayaks in on the other side. Normally you would be able to go to the right or left of the falls and cross it. 

This part is not for the faint of heart!

Those kayaks aren’t light and you have to walk quite a ways over the rocks to put your kayak in on the other side. This is where it would be easier to have a stand-up paddleboard. Although I’m unsure if they would be easier to paddle for 9 miles! 

I recommend getting very clear directions from AWOL before you leave on how to navigate over Pillar Falls without getting lost. This area is quite large and we got a little lost! Nothing to discourage you, however. You will find your way and there will be plenty of other people on the same journey to help you out.

If anything, I recommend walking to the other side of the falls which will mainly be rocks and brush that feel like you’re on an island in the river. You’ll see where to put your kayak into the river on the other side of the “island”. I recommend doing this before hauling your kayak all the way over land (unless you’re super strong). It’s just nice to get a lay of the land before lugging something that big if you get lost.

woman posing beside kayak
Milestone 2: Pillar Falls
Milestone 3: Shoshone Falls

At about a 4 mile trip from the launch point, you’ll have reached the “Niagara of the West”—the endpoint you worked so hard to reach, and Shoshone Falls is a rewarding one at that!

It’s such an exciting and thrilling experience to be that close to these huge falls up close! However, it’s very important to be very cautious about getting too close to the falls. People have actually been sucked under the falls here so you’ll want to make sure you don’t get too close.

Milestone 3: Shoshone Falls
A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
Milestone 4: Downstream to Centennial Park

The good news is that you’ll be going downstream on the way back to Centennial Park so it should be a tad bit quicker, but you will need to traverse back over Pillar Falls. We tag-teamed it the second time and both carried one kayak at a time to make it a bit easier. Also, Pillar Falls is so cool and there are great photo ops if you need to stop and have lunch here.

A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
Finale: 

The entire trip takes about 5.5 hours from start to finish. This includes stopping for photos, snacking, photos, and exploring. If you wanted to make it a tad bit simpler, you could also just make it a full day!

A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

What To Pack On Your Trip To Shoshone Falls

Dry Bag 

I recommend packing a dry bag to store your camera, phones, snacks, and beverages. These are great for kayaking and river trips like these to prevent water damage to your valuables. I use this one.

Water Shoes

To prevent slipping when boarding the kayak, water shoes are highly recommended. I wore my Chacos and they were great for traversing over Pillar Falls. 

Eco-Friendly Sunscreen and Hat

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Make sure to apply before and during your kayaking trip to Shoshone Falls. I use this one. Also, a sun hat is also key. I used a large one like this to cover my shoulders as well.

A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

Waterproof Camera

I never bring a waterproof case for my phone anymore because technically it’s supposed to be slightly waterproof. However, if you want to get some cool shots, you might benefit from something like this for your camera or a gopro!

Waterproof, Comfy Clothing

I opted for a workout top and shorts. Others were wearing swimsuits. I’d recommend wearing something that you are comfortable to be in for 5.5 hours. If you burn easily I’d also recommend a rash guard! Here’s the exact top I wore and these are similar biker shorts. 

Water and Snacks 

Water should be considered a requirement for the trip to Shoshone Falls. As the kayaking trip is a long and strenuous one, and depending on the weather can be a hot one as well, I recommend bringing a water bottle like this that will keep your water cold. Also, snacks like protein bars, bananas, trail mix, etc. are great options for your trip! You can also pack a lunch if you want to stop at Pillar Falls to eat. 

What To Do Near Shoshone Falls  

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner in Twin Falls

Depending on when you are hungry, I recommend grabbing food in Twin Falls. Twin Falls is an up-and-coming little town with a lot of different food spots popping up. 

If you want to grab breakfast before heading down to Shoshone Falls, I’d recommend Yellow Brick Cafe or 4 Roots Juice Bar and Cafe for more of a grab-and-go option. For lunch, try Twin Falls Sandwich Company or Milner’s Gate (also great for dinner). Lastly, for dinner, I recommend grabbing a cocktail and bites to eat at Elevation 486 to watch the sunset over the canyon!

A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

Perrine Coulee Falls 

Not far from the Perrine Bridge is Perrine Coulee Falls. You can either view it from the top of the canyon, drive to it, or hike to it. I personally like to drive down to it via the Centennial Falls canyon entrance. You’ll be able to stop here on your way to kayaking or afterward.

When you see the large curve in the road with parking spots alongside the left of the road (when coming down), you’ll be able to see a small opening to walk down to Pillar Falls. You can even walk behind the falls! You can even walk behind the falls and feel the incredible splash.

A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

Snake River Canyon Rim Trail and Buzz Langdon Visitor Center

Head over to Buzz Langdon Visitor Center to get a great view of Snake River, Snake River Canyon, and Perrine Bridge. The center sits at the edge of Snake River Canyon, where you can, if timed correctly, watch as daring people jump from Perrine Bridge (safely, of course!).

I actually recommend parking in their lot and then walking over to the Snake River Canyon Rim Trail along the canyon. These are going to be some of the best views of the canyon you’ll see in Twin Falls! The trail goes on for a while and you can walk under the bridge if you want to also. It’s a great spot for a leisurely stroll or a jog with amazing views.

Evel Knievel Snake River Canyon Jump Site

Travel to the site where the famous daredevil, Evil Knievel, attempted to jump across the Snake River Canyon on a steam-powered rocket. The Evel Knievel Snake River Canyon Jump Site can be a quick trip, or as long as desired, to get a feel for the distance the daredevil failed to cross. There are signs set up at the jump site with fun facts and information for visitors to view.

Check out this blog for more Twin Falls and surrounding area recommendations

A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

Wrapping Up

Kayaking to Shoshone Falls is a trip that needs to be taken at least once in your lifetime. The unforgettable sights and rewarding trip to the “Niagara of the West”, Shoshone Falls, is not one that should be passed up. Rent a kayak at AWOL’s Adventure Sports to get moving! Make sure to bring water, sunscreen, proper gear, and snacks for your kayaking trip to Shoshone Falls, and give this guide a gander to stay on track as you make your way down the Snake River.

Share this article with friends and family. Get your water shoes and water bottles ready for this up-and-coming kayaking trip!

Looking for other fun things to do in Idaho? Check out my other Idaho posts. Looking for tips specifically on Twin Falls, read here.

A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

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A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
A Guide to Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

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